Intended for healthcare professionals


Flu vaccination for staff may become contractual duty, says chief medical officer

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 07 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4129

We still do not know if annual flu shots do more good than harm

In spite of all of the observational studies reporting "vaccine effectiveness" we still do not know if annual flu shots have done more overall good than harm--for the general public, for high risk groups, or for health-care workers. Some studies have shown that flu shots and the nasal vaccines have sometimes INCREASED the risk of influenza and other viral respiratory infections. We need the long-term, multicenter, randomized trials suggested by Kenneth McIntosh in a 2000 NEJM editorial, but never carried out. It is possible that annual flu shots has reduced our collective immunity and increased our risks for when the "Big One" next appears.

ALLAN s. CUNNINGHAM 10 June 2019

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 June 2019
Allan S. Cunningham
Retired pediatrician
Cooperstown NY USA